Dr David Humphreys

David Humphreys is an Associate Professor of Evidence-Based Intervention and Policy Evaluation. He is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research spans several fields including:, criminology, social (or public) policy, public health, and epidemiology. His main topic of interest focuses on the causes, consequences and prevention of violence and injury. Much of his research investigates how structural changes—such as laws, regulations or changes to the built environment—impact on the rate and/or distribution of harm in the population.

David’s research typically utilises observational or non-randomised research designs. As a consequence, his research and teaching bring together an interest in methodological aspects of intervention research, such as: the design of complex interventions (natural and quasi-experiments); the measurement of physical harms and its related environmental exposures; and the assessment and synthesis of equity effects.

He joined the Department in October 2013, having previously held research positions at the Institute of Public Health and the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge. He completed his doctorate at the Institute of Criminology, at the University of Cambridge, in 2011.

David has affiliations with the Violence Research Centre at the University of Cambridge and is affiliated with the Penn Injury Science Center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has held research grants from the NIHR, ESRC and the Joyce Foundation, among others.

David is on sabbatical in Hilary Term 2020


David’s research interests include:

  • Violence and injury prevention (including: alcohol-related violence, gun violence, knife crime, intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, suicide, motor vehicle accidents, other)
  • Alcohol and drug misuse
  • Changes to the built environment and urban design
  • Physical inactivity
  • Methods for evaluating complex population level interventions (i.e. laws, regulations, policies)
  • Making sense of the evidence in population health intervention research: building a dry stone wall

  • Risk and Protective Factors for Men's Sexual Violence Against Women at Higher Education Institutions: A Systematic and Meta-Analytic Review of the Longitudinal Evidence.

  • Can synthetic controls improve causal inference in interrupted time series evaluations of public health interventions?

  • Assessing the impact of a local community subsidized rideshare program on road traffic injuries: an evaluation of the Evesham Saves Lives Program

  • Evaluating the impact of penalising the use of mobile phones while driving on road traffic fatalities, serious injuries and mobile phone use: a systematic review.

  • Universal background checks for handgun purchases can reduce homicide rates of African Americans

  • How do perceived and objective measures of neighbourhood disadvantage vary over time? Results from a prospective-longitudinal study in the UK with implications for longitudinal research on neighbourhood effects on health

  • Ridesharing and motor vehicle crashes: a spatial ecological case-crossover study of trip-level data.

  • Increasing adolescent firearm homicides and racial disparities following Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' self-defence law.

  • Long-term Exposure to Neighborhood Deprivation and Intimate Partner Violence Among Women: A UK Birth Cohort Study.


David would welcome applications for D.Phils from students who are committed to policy-relevant research on violence and injury prevention. He would be particularly interested to hear from students who are interested in examining the impact of structural level interventions, using quasi-experimental or other novel methodological designs.

Find out more

Read a summary of David's work on the Oxford Social Science Division site.